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When an attractive young girl is murdered, suspicion falls on several members of the local tennis club. It falls to Police Inspector Halloran to sort out all the red herrings, and finally after a confrontation at the top of the local church spire, arrest the culprit. Another fascinating look at what life was like in Britain during the 50's, Written by
I come out somewhere between these two last verdicts. The plot had more holes than a chunk of gruyere, motivations I'd agree were distinctly shaky, and chemistry between Mills and Barbara Bates as the girl he falls for was notably lacking. (Love scenes have never exactly been Johnny Mills's forte, have they?) But as so often with British films of this vintage, the portrayal of a particular era and social milieu is fascinating, and the supporting performances include some gems. I liked Derek Farr's increasingly sweaty reactions as the bogus ex-officer running the social club as his own little harem; initially loathsome, but gradually becoming a pitiable figure as his carefully-constructed social persona crumbles about his ears. And Elizabeth Seal turns in a tour de force as the respectable mayor's daughter going determinedly to the bad. Her spirited, bottom-wiggling solo dance at the club was utterly wonderful.
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